Thursday, October 08, 2009

Tigers Can't Just Act Like Miggy's Drinking Didn't Happen

It’s naive of the Tigers to think Miguel Cabrera’s drinking issue is simply "a personal matter." At some point, both Cabrera and the Tigers need to address it publicly, or their creditably will suffer greatly as a result. It is just not going to go away because the snow falls.
I mean, a .26 blood alcohol content sandwiched inbetween the two most important games of the season?

- I don’t think Iowa is that good, and do feel Michigan is more than capable of winning Saturday night, but the Wolverines obviously must do a better job of performing outside their comfort zone at Michigan Stadium. To do that, Michigan’s offensive line - which played very well in the first four games at home and was awful on the road last week at Michigan State - must impose its will.

- You’d think Matthew Stafford has shown enough that the Lions’ starting QB is his when he returns to health. But what if Daunte Culpepper plays well and leads the Lions to an improbable upset of the Steelers Sunday? Don’t kid yourself. A QB controversy would undoubtedly ensue.

- Kate Hudson is an attractive women, but it would be OK if TBS doesn’t flash to her every single time A-Rod adjusts his batting gloves.

- Player on the spot Sunday for the Lions: Rookie wide receiver/kick returner Derrick Williams. He was the No. 1 prep player in the country and didn’t quite measure up to it at Penn State during what was just a solid college career. To this stage, he has far from justified the Lions’ selection of him in the third round. Now is his chance.

- Maybe it’s because the Red Wings have been so good for so long, but there is a tendency in this area for people to turn their nose up at regular season hockey.
Not me. I love it.
Nor do I think it is too early in the season to consider the Red Wings’ home opener against the Blackhawks a key game.
One of the factors the Red Wings have avoided is a late-season rush, either for positioning in the postseason, or to make the playoffs.
They traditionally get off to fast starts, and it allows them to set up properly for the postseason. As just a fact of the salary cap era, the Red Wings are breaking in a new backup goalie, Jimmy Howard, and they did lose a ton of scoring from last season’s team. Other teams may have gotten in the Western Conference, most notably the Blackhawks, the Flames, Sharks and obviously the Blues, who closed remarkably strong last season, and beat Detroit in two games to open this season in Sweden.
Obviously, if the Red Wings were to lose tonight, it won’t be time to panic. But it would wise for the Red Wings to get on a winning track sooner instead of later.



Blogger Chris said...

What more do the Tigers and Cabrera need to address in public? Yes, the team handled it wrong by not sitting him on Saturday, but Cabrera issued an apology and now it's up to him to handle it in private.

1:54 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

There is a difference between saying "sorry" and admitting there is a problem. That's the point I'm making.

8:13 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Being a professional Major Leagues Baseball player is a privilege - not a right - in either of our countries.

I don't mean privilege like driving is a privilege - I mean the most elite of privileges - granted only to a small handful.

So I do not feel the Tigers have any obligation to fix Cabrera - as say an employer has an obligation to help an employee - which I don't really buy into either (and I'm a Canadian "socialist" - hah!).

Cabrera's numbers are great - hollow but great. Aside from good defensive play at first - Cabrera was not the reason the Tigers got as far as they did. But he is the part of reason they didn't go farther - A big part - with little to no clutch hitting in key situations which decide the outcome of oh so many games lost by three or less runs.

And good defensive first basemen aren't that rare.

We missed the playoffs by one game. Next year we should all remember that every one of the 162 games is important. If nothing else - I hope we at least learn that.

Fix Miggy? Sure - hell - hold a fan intervention for the guy if you want. Lock him in a room with Willie Horton for a week if you're serious.

But the Tigers should feel no obligation fix him - I doubt they drove him to drink.

They just drove him home afterwards.

If I had my way - he would have packed his locker Saturday and been sent back home to feel the wrath of the missus - whom he should be more scared of than Leyland or Dombrowski.

We wouldn't have lost the game Saturday - we would have won it, and Sundays too. And Tuesday's big three run tater he hit would never have had the opportunity to have happened.

I can't prove it - but my Leyland-like spidey senses tell me its so.

And we'd all be wondering how the hell the Yankees let us split the first two games in New Yankee Stadium.

There is no obligation to Miggy - except to make his release quick and quiet.

But hey - we could say "awww that's just Miguel ..." and put up with his antics and more public media attention sure to come. The media gag order is off and some will be lying in waiting for him to stagger into controversy after controversy.

Or they could cut him loose and move on. And if anything helps the Tigers right now, its to cut a couple of ties ... and move on.

Miggy's tie to the Tigers is an anchor that won't help them stay afloat. A priveleged and costly anchor that will be hard to raise.

My two cents - 1.85 cents by the current exchange rate.

Thanks for letting me rant Book - sorry it took up so much space. I will miss this when baseball is finally over.

9:08 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

I have no issue with anything Pat said, but this comment by Fred is absolutely ridiculous:

"Cabrera was not the reason the Tigers got as far as they did. But he is the part of reason they didn't go farther"

Instead of competing for first the Tigers would've been competing for last without Cabrera. You can hate him all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that he was the majority of our offense.

And here's his "little to no clutch hitting in key situations": .296 with an OPS of .906 with RISP, and he hit .308 with an OPS of .916 in "late & close" games according to baseball reference.

By the way, releasing our best position player by far with so much money due to him would 100% send us back to the Randy Smith days ... thank god DD isn't that crazy ...

That post isn't much more than pure bias. Nothing constructive, no stats backing anything up, just scapegoating.

5:13 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill, Michael C,
I think there is a something to be said for Cabrera hurting the team,. Michael you're right. Without him, they wouldn't have done much this season. Definitely been below .500 in my opinion. But if he didn't have these issues, and played to his full potential, which I don't believe he does, the Tigers would have won the division hands down. He is a great talent, not a great player. There is a difference. That's where I see Fred's point.

9:56 PM 
Anonymous Michael C said...

I can't say that he plays to his full potential either when he's out drinking the night before a crucial game. Particularly since that implies that he does this often.

But I'd still say he's a great player (a top 10 hitter in the ML), just not at that upper echelon level that he could be at.

But he's still only 25 ... he can still get there if he can get things straightened out. Maybe this incident and the public backlash will be the wake up call he needs.

5:36 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Michael C,
That's the good part - he is young. Hopefully this wakes him up.

1:42 PM 

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